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In China, people with disabilities often face barriers when looking for meaningful work. The Chinese government requires most employers to ensure that 1.5% percent of the company’s workers are comprised of people with hearing, movement or cognitive challenges, or pay into a special government fund. According to the International Labour Office, two-thirds of the 83 million people with disabilities in China are unemployed, and many live in poverty, unable to care for their families.
At the Flex Zhuhai campus, and others across China, the company has taken a strong stand to expand employment opportunities for people of all abilities. The program first started in 2010, and has continued to grow each year with special job fairs and targeted outreach, to the point where the Zhuhai government has called Flex a “poster child” for hiring people with different abilities. The company has hired several hundred employees, including some from 2010 who are still working there today.
One employee named Xiaohui said, “As long as I have steady work and a good working environment, I’ll be happy.”This sentiment was echoed by many disabled staff. “I only need a chance; I don’t fear the challenge. I’m hoping my social status will improve through the endeavors,” said one newly recruited person.
New Flex employee uses sign language to communicate with coworkers.
Flex continues to Invest significantly to enhance the workplace environment for all employees. Most recently, audio-based alarms and signals on production lines were enhanced with additional visual flashing lights and signals for the hard of hearing. Employees throughout the campus have taken sign language classes, and hand signing has taken off with a wave of popularity among employees. Flex also rebuilt dormitories, removing barriers while making facilities more accessible and inclusive.
To expand the support system for employees with special needs, Flex invited experts from the China Disabled Persons Federation to provide career guidance, inspirational education, and psychological counseling. Flex is also hiring full-time social workers to help disabled employees integrate effectively with the rest of the workforce.
Flex employees meet with local disability rights advocates
Flex finds these investments well worth the cost and effort, as these employees perform their jobs admirably, while enriching company culture and giving the company a chance to support the local community.
We are proud to continue to make our facilities even more inclusive for people with disabilities. From the enhancements to our worksites and campuses, to collaborating with local organizations to hire people with disabilities, we find these investments pay off well, for current and new colleagues,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Baldassari. “We’re able to bring in new perspectives to the workplace, and find that our new colleagues are incredibly dedicated, and provide tremendous value to the company.
An official from the China Disabled Persons Federation, Ms. Naikun Wang, also echoed the success of the program as she noted, “We hope more local companies can learn from Flex and take part in special recruitment events tailored for people with disabilities.”
To learn more about job opportunities at Flex, please visit our careers pages. To see how else Flex works to support workforce development and enhance the communities where we operate, please visit our Sustainability website.